An Ethernet switch is a device that connects multiple computers together as part of a local network. As networking technology has improved, so has the speed that data can be sent between systems. These devices also have "Gigabit" or 1,000 Mbps ports to send data from one computer to another at very high speeds. Most home computer setups don't really need a dedicated Gigabit Ethernet switch since a consumer router typically includes both Internet routing hardware and an integrated switch for a small, local network. If you're looking to set up a larger network (especially in a business environment) then a dedicated switch can help organize your hardware and speed up data flow between systems.
We've chosen these picks as the best Gigabit Ethernet switches thanks to at least eight ports, which gives you a lot of connections for your computers, devices, and other hardware. All of these models are either "smart" or "unmanaged" switches, which makes them easy to set up and use without extensive management on your end, so they're ideal for a small business or even home use. You will also find environmentally friendly features such as power reduction for ports not in use which keeps your energy costs low.
Whether you want a switch for a home setup or a small business solution, this is a great eight port choice that is easy to install and use. It supports Gigabit speeds and requires little installation, plus there's other similar models with more ports if you need a different option. This is a "green" unit that includes energy efficient performance by powering down unused ports. Read Full Review
This is just a great all-around option that's easy to set up and use in pretty much any environment. It has support for Gigabit Ethernet connections, so it can work with just about any Ethernet port you have on your computers. There's a five port model that's nearly identical if you don't need eight ports on your switch, as well as larger 16 and 24-port models from D-Link functioning just as well as this one. This is an unmanaged switch so it's easy to set up and requires little administration to keep it running properly. The environmentally friendly features on this switch include power saving measures so the switch powers down any ports not in use or those connected to computers that are currently idle; this can potentially save you money while reducing your power needs.
Here's an interesting networking solution from TRENDnet offering some excellent features and can help reduce power consumption throughout your network. It's an eight port model that's very easy to set up and use while minimizing power to unused ports and systems that are switched off. This model supports Gigabit networking, so it's perfect for any environment needing high speed data rates. Read Full Review
This is an excellent Gigabit Ethernet switch if you're looking to set up a simple network and you want to save some money by reducing your power requirements. Networking eight or more computers together can often be a large power draw, just from the systems themselves in addition to what the networking hardware requires. This switch helps reduce some power consumption by monitoring what systems are on and adjusting power flow accordingly. It delivers less power than most other switches to empty ports, less power to switched off networked computers, and adjusts power levels down if you use cables that are shorter than 100 meters in length. There are 5-port, 16-port, and 24-port models available with similar features if eight is not quite right for your setup. This is an unmanaged switch that's easy to set up and use without installing any software or utilities.
This is another great 8-port option if you are looking to set up a fairly simple network in a small business or home office. It includes some power reduction technology that can help save you money, requires very little setup, and is available at a very reasonable price. The only real weakness of this switch is it just doesn't have any features which really make it stand apart from other models on the market. Read Full Review
If you just want a simple, 8-port Gigabit Ethernet switch requiring very little setup, then you should definitely give this model a good look. It has a plug-and-play design and doesn't require any additional software to use since it's an unmanaged switch. It automatically detects whether a connected device uses a 10Mbps, 100Mbps, or 1000Mbps connection, adjusting speeds and performance accordingly. The energy-efficient design reduces power consumption based on whether ports are in use, if connected devices are currently powered on, and it's a fan-less model so it runs very quietly. You can set it up on a desktop or easily mount on a wall. It's quite inexpensive which makes it great for a casual setup, plus eight ports should be more than enough for most small businesses and houses.
For a straightforward, simple to use Gigabit switch, this is a great option with eight ports and some nice features. It prioritizes high bandwidth activities over others, reducing buffering and improve productivity when sharing files and working across systems. This model also senses ports not in use or powered down to maximize speed and reduce unnecessary power consumption. Read Full Review
While there's a lot to like about this Gigabit Ethernet switch, it just doesn't really have anything to indicate superiority to the other picks on our list. It works well and is easy to set up/use without the need for installing extra software or utilities, simply requiring a connection to begin operating. However, there are some great features such as QoS traffic management which determines priority of activities based on bandwidth so more demanding tasks happen faster while reducing buffering times. This model also detects which ports aren't in use or are connected to powered down systems in order to prioritize data rates to those that are in use. The switch can also reduce power requirements though not to the extent of some other "greener" models.
If you want to set up a serious network for a business environment with a couple dozen systems, then take a good look at this model. It has 24 ports and is unmanaged so you don't need to run extra utilities or do much administration to use it. You can use this one on a desktop or mount it in a rack and there are also power saving features inluded. Read Full Review
This is definitely not a switch for use in a small home office or apartment as it's designed for professional use in a business with up to 24 systems that need to be connected. However, it's still quite easy to use, offering plug and play functionality without the need for excessive installation or running other programs. All 24 ports are Gigabit Ethernet connections, and the switch determines if 10Mbps, 100Mbps, or 1000Mbps connections are plugged into each port in order to intelligently handle bandwidth. Unused ports or those connected to computers that are shut down are not powered during regular use so this model helps reduce energy consumption. 24 LEDs indicate when each port is in use and they're all numbered for easy organization and setup.